The manner in which law enforcement officials in Alberta handle minor offences could change under a newly proposed bill in the Legislature.
Bill 9, or An Act to Modernize Enforcement of Minor Offences, includes amendments that would affect the issuing of warrants for unpaid fines and the distribution of tickets.
Under the act, issuing of warrants for outstanding fines on minor infractions like parking tickets or unshovelled sidewalks would cease in favour of financial penalties.
Law enforcement would be given the authority to garnish offenders’ debts as an alternative form of punishment.
Tickets, such as those for speeding, would be administered electronically instead of in paper form to streamline the process.
The aim of the bill is to expedite processing of minor cases to allow police officers and court officials to dedicate more of their time and attention to serious crimes.
According to a Government of Alberta press release, an average of 9,000 hours are spent each year processing warrants in Alberta courts, leading to an inefficient system.